What, if anything, could be better than a Regency romance by Mary Balogh? To be sure, it could only be a LONGER, more in-depth Regency romance by Mary Balogh. This was the first in a new series from Berkley as just such a lavish, extremely fulfilling treat. It is NOT a historical disguised as a Regency, but the very real thing.
From her first greeting to Viscount Rawleigh, Catherine Winters finds herself annoyingly attracted to the man, whom she had initially taken for his twin-brother and her near neighbor, Mr. Adams. The Viscount, on the other hand, makes erroneous suppositions about the lovely widow, and during the whole of this long and lovely book, sparks fly between these two strong and independent characters.
Against his better judgment, the Viscount accompanies his brother back to Bodley-on-the-water, for a change of scenery. His brother's wife is determined to make a match between her younger sister and the handsome Rex, refusing to believe he is not interested in the untried chit. He is equally determined to avoid her snares, protecting his heart from further damage, it having been broken once already.
Catherine is obviously a lady, or at least with some pretensions toward gentility, if a bit young to be a widow at the age of five-and-twenty. Content with her current existence, she has a dog for companionship, and enjoys the society (although knowing it for exactly the condescension that it is) of the occupants of the small village, from the Viscount's brother to the garrulous rector.
Of course, Rawleigh believes the toothsome widow to be eminently beddable, based on little more than a smile or two, and pursues his goal with admirable intent. She must certainly be interested in him, for how else could she so readily tell him apart from his identical brother? No one else ever could! No matter how impregnable any woman believes her fortress to be, the gates may nearly always be opened by the right key. He inadvertently compromises her; they must marry, and all the long-held secrets come tumbling out.
As usual, Mary Balogh does not disappoint the reader; this is truly (to borrow a word coined by her original publisher) a SUPER Regency!